Mumbai: Woman on phone loses control of car, causes crash on freeway

  • Farhan Shaikh, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 25, 2015 23:29 IST

A 25-year-old woman speaking on her mobile phone crashed into a divider on the Eastern Freeway in Mumbai on Friday evening.

The Mumbai traffic police said the accident took place around 4pm on the southbound stretch of the freeway, near Jijamata Nagar.

“The woman, Asawari Joshi, was talking on her phone when she hit a flower pot on the divider. This fell on the northbound stretch causing a Skoda to crash into it,” said a traffic police officer, adding Joshi sustained minor injuries on her face.

Friday’s mishap is the second this week on the accident-prone freeway, where earlier this year, 35-year-old Janhavi Gadkar, driving drunk, crashed into a taxi, killing two and injuring four others. The Gadkar accident forced authorities to install CCTV cameras on the 16.8-km stretch of the freeway. However, a proposal to install Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras has been pending since last August.

While the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) conducted a survey on the stretch and selected four spots in June, there are no signs of the ANPR cameras three months after the survey.

“The ANPR cameras will be able to capture the registration number plates of passing vehicles,” said a senior official from the traffic police headquarters.

Most accidents on the freeway are caused because of speeding, said officers in the traffic department.

On September 22, a speeding car crashed into the divider on the Eastern Freeway near the Wadala exit ramp on the northbound stretch.

Although there were no fatalities, the driver escaped with minor injuries.

On August 5, four people were injured when three cars crashed into each other on the Freeway near Mazagaon at night.

The incident took place when a car was slowing down and two other speeding cars crashed into it.

On July 4, a speeding vehicle knocked down a woman who was crossing the road in Chembur at the point where the Freeway begins.

When asked about the ANPR cameras, Prakash Mamdapure, the engineer-in-chief, MMRDA, said he is yet to receive updates on the issue.

SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner was unavailable for comment.

The police said they have intensified checks on the Eastern Freeway and other highways — Western Express Highway, Eastern Express Highway and other arterial roads to prevent such incidents.

So far, no case has been registered against the woman for causing the accident, said Dilip Raut, senior inspector at the RCF police station. This is probably because the damage caused by the crash was negligible, sources said.

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